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Astron. Astrophys. 362, 1143-1150 (2000)


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A new interpretation of the Solar magnetic cycle

J. Pelt 1,5, J. Brooke 2,3, P.J. Pulkkinen 4 and I. Tuominen 5

1 Tartu Observatory, Tõravere, 61602, Estonia
2 MRCCS, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
3 Department of Mathematics, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
4 Academy of Finland, P.O. Box 99, 00501 Helsinki, Finland
5 Astronomy Division, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 333, 90571 Oulu, Finland

Received 24 May 2000 / Accepted 4 September 2000

Abstract

We define the solar cycle as a spatiotemporal rather than a purely temporal entity. This allows us to introduce new methods to determine timing parameters of the activity cycles. We discuss the physical interpretation of our spatiotemporal definition as a pair of activity waves travelling towards the equator and pole respectively, and present results of the corresponding statistical analysis. Three important trends of solar activity which are clearly seen in summary statistics can be used for prediction. We present evidence of a long term cycle of 90 years manifesting as a modulation of both length and symmetry of the Schwabe cycle and identify this with the Gleissberg cycle.

Key words: Sun: activity – Sun: magnetic fields – Sun: sunspots – methods: statistical

Send offprint requests to: J. Pelt (pelt@aai.ee)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: October 30, 2000

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